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Waive two months of credit card fees says NDP as COVID-19 crashes consumer finances

Consumers need immediate financial relief

Friday March 20, 2020 ~ NATIONAL

by Mary Brooke ~ West Shore Voice News

A waiver of interest charges and other fees on consumer credit cards is being called for by NDP, saying it’s a fast and direct way that the federal government could provide some real and immediate financial relief for Canadians.

Today, NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian and Industry Critic Brian Masse highlighted the NDP’s call to waive interest fees and charges on credit cards for at least the next two payments cycles.

Peter Julian, finance critic
Peter Julian, NDP Finance Critic

“So far, the government has found ways to help corporations right away, but they are still making Canadians wait weeks,” said Masse. “Like putting off tax filing and not charging interest on student loans, waiving the interest on credit cards for two months would immediately help Canadians get through until the federal programs kick in.”

For many families, waiting weeks isn’t an option. “Even before the pandemic, close to half of all Canadians were just a few hundred dollars away from insolvency. These families are probably already relying on credit cards and high interest loans and will likely feel they have no choice but to turn to them even more now,” said Julian.

Brian Masse, MP
NDP industry critic Brian Masse, MP

“We’ve been asking for direct help for people across the country for weeks,” said Masse. “Canadians should not have to take on high-interest debt while they’re waiting for the government to finally get some support out the door.”

On Vancouver Island, the City of Langford is similarly paying attention to where immediate action is needed for people in their everyday lives, in their case supporting a pop-up COVID-19 phone-contact information and support line and working outside the mainstream health system because the urgent need is there.